Recreational Finfish Regulations
Updated as of July 15, 2013
|Species||Season||Size Limit||Possession Limit|
|American Eel (1)||All Year||6 in||50 fish|
|Black Sea Bass (2)|
|Private||May 11 - Oct 31||14 in||4 fish|
|For-Hire||May 11 - Oct 31||14 in||4 fish|
|Closed Season For-Hire ( LOA required*)||May 11 - Jun 14|
Jul 1 - Aug 11
Sep 1 - Oct 10
|Blue Marlin (6)||Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries|
|Bluefish||All Year||No Limit||10 fish|
|Cod (North of Cape Cod) (7)|
|Spring Cod Conservation Zone||Apr 16 - Jul 21||Closed|
|Winter Cod Conservation Zone||Nov 15 - Jan 31||Closed|
|All Other Areas North of Cape Cod|
|Private and For-Hire||Apr 16 - Oct 31||19 in||9 fish|
|For-Hire||Nov 01 - Apr 15||Closed|
|Private||Nov 01 - Apr 15||19 in||2 fish/person (75 lb/boat)|
|Cod (South & East of Cape Cod)||All Year||22 in||10 fish|
|Dab (Plaice)||All Year||14 in||No Limit|
|Fluke||May 22 - Sep 30||16 in||5 fish|
|Gray Sole (Witch)||All Year||14 in||No Limit|
|Haddock (7)||All Year||21 in||No Limit|
|Halibut (7)||All Year||41 in||1 fish|
|Monkfish||All Year||17 in||No Limit|
|Pollock||All Year||No Limit||No Limit|
|Redfish||All Year||9 in||No Limit|
|River Herring (5)||Harvest, possession, sale and use are prohibited|
|Sailfish (6)||Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries|
|Private||May 1 - Dec 31||10 in||30 fish|
|For-Hire Regular Season||Jul 1 - Dec 31||10 in||30 fish|
|For-Hire Bonus||May 1 - Jun 30||10 in||45 fish|
|Shad (8)||All Year||No Limit||Closed w/ exceptions|
|Sharks (excludes spiny dogfish)||Refer to Shark Section|
|Smelt||Jun 16 - Mar 14||No Limit||50 fish|
|Spiny Dogfish||All Year||No Limit||No Limit|
|Striped Bass (4)||All Year||28 in||2 fish|
|Tautog||All Year||16 in||3 fish|
|Tunas||Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries|
|Weakfish||All Year||16 in||1 fish|
|White Marlin (6)||Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries|
|White Perch||All Year||8 in||25 fish|
|Winter Flounder ( North of Cape Cod )||All Year||12 in||8 fish|
|Winter Flounder ( South and East of Cape Cod )||Apr 27 - May 26|
Sep 28 - Oct 27
|Yellowtail Flounder||All Year||13 in||No Limit|
1) Subject to regulation by the Division and local community. Consult local regulations.
2) Black sea bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail, not including the tail filament.
3) Maximum 150 scup per private vessel with 6 or more passengers.
4) Striped bass must be kept whole, with head, tail and body intact - no mutilation permitted (other than evisceration). The discard of dead, legal size striped bass is prohibited. To prohibit the practice of high-grading, recreational fishermen may not retain legal-sized striped bass and release said fish in favor of another larger legal-sized striped bass captured subsequently. It shall be unlawful to keep striped bass alive in the water by attaching a line or chain to the fish or placing the fish in a live well or holding car. Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail. Note: Permitted party/charter vessel operators may fillet striped bass for their customers. See 322 CMR 6.07 (4)(g) for details.
5) It is unlawful for any person to harvest, possess or sell river herring in the Commonwealth or in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.
6) Billfish are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork.
8) Shad is a catch and release fishery, except on the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers where anglers may retain up to 3 fish per day.